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Completing Form DS-261: A Step-by-Step Guide

Completing Form DS-261: A Step-by-Step Guide

Completing the DS-261 form is crucial in the visa or green card application process. It ensures that you receive all necessary communications related to your application. 

This page will provide an overview of the DS-261 form and explain how to complete it. You will also learn about the benefits of choosing an agent and gain insight for selecting the best person to act on your behalf.

What is DS-261?

The DS-261 Online Choice of Address and Agent form is a tool used by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to allow individuals applying for a visa to the United States to select their preferred mailing address and to designate an agent to receive communications on their behalf. Time is usually of the essence when applying for a visa, so it’s important that your address is accurate to avoid any delays in your application process.

Who Can Be An Agent On Form DS-261?

When you complete the DS-261 form, you can choose an agent to receive communications related to your visa or green card application on your behalf. You can act as your own agent, but you can also choose anyone you trust, such as a family member or a friend. You can also designate an attorney or other professional as your agent.

Here’s what you should consider when choosing an agent:

  1. Choose someone responsible and reliable: The agent you select will handle essential communications and documents related to your visa or green card application. Choosing someone who will follow through on any tasks that need to be completed is important.
  2. Consider their availability: Make sure to select an agent who will be available and able to respond to any communications from the government promptly.
  3. Ensure they have excellent organizational skills: The agent you select will be responsible for keeping track of any communications or documents related to your application.
  4. Think about the person’s location: If you are applying for a visa or green card from abroad, choosing an agent in the United States may be a good idea. This can make it easier for your agent to communicate with the government and handle any tasks that need to be completed in person.
  5. Consider hiring a professional: If you are unsure who to choose as your agent or feel that communicating with the government is too complex, you may consider hiring an attorney to act on your behalf.

Selecting an attorney at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. to be your agent can be beneficial in several ways. We can act on your behalf and guide the visa application process. Additionally, we can help to coordinate communications between you and the government, saving you time and hassle. Not to mention, we can provide you with legal advice and expertise every step of the way, giving you peace of mind that you’re submitting the correct information at the right time.

How Do I Fill Out Form DS-261?

To complete Form DS-261, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/.
  2. Click on the “DS-261” link under the “Immigrant Visa” heading.
  3. Follow the instructions to create an account on the CEAC website. This will require you to provide your NVC case number to get started.
  4. Once you have created an account, you will be taken to the DS-261 form. Fill out the form by providing your preferred mailing address, phone number, email, and selecting an agent to receive communications on your behalf.
  5. Review the information you have provided to ensure that it is accurate.
  6. Submit the form by clicking the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.
  7. Keep a copy of the completed form for your records.

It is important to complete the DS-261 form as soon as possible to avoid delays in the visa application process. Follow the instructions carefully and provide accurate information to ensure that the form is accepted.

How Much Does It Cost to File Form DS-261?

You do not need to pay any fees at the time of submitting Form DS-261. However, after submitting Form DS-261, you’ll need to pay the immigrant visa application processing fee, which is $325 per applicant. You’ll also need to submit the $120 Affidavit of Support filing fee.

What is the Processing Time for DS-261?

It will typically take about three weeks for the National Visa Processing Center to process your Form DS-261.

What is the Difference Between DS-260 and DS-261?

Form DS-260 is more comprehensive and asks for detailed information about an applicant’s background. Form DS-261, on the other hand, is a simpler form that only asks for current contact information and allows applicants to designate an agent to receive communications on their behalf. Both forms are completed online and are used to establish a communication line between the applicant and the U.S. government.

Choose Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C .to Represent You

With over 70 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. are well-versed in immigration rules and regulations. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to ensure that your visa application is completed correctly and submitted on time. Contact us today by filling out our online form or calling (312) 444-1940 to learn more about how we can help!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!